PAT HEALY: This week Pat pays tribute to Jack de Bromhead and looks ahead to the Irish Champions weekend.
Last weekend was just a tragedy. It was horrific for the de Bromhead family and Jack’s wide circle of friends. Its horrific for the community of Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh also. It’s just unimaginable that something like that could happen to a child. We all know the dangers of this sport, but when it happens like that it’s just horrific. I got to know Jack through pony racing this summer, and I photographed him a couple of weeks ago in Cahersiveen where we shared banter with Dad Henry there too and I witnessed their father and son bond up close.
I went down to the funeral on Tuesday and spoke with Henry, Heather, Mia and Georgia, and I can’t imagine how they’re going to get through this. But at least they know there is a lot of love in the racing community for them. All kids are lovely, and Jack was a bubbly, typical thirteen-year-old and may his gentle soul rest in peace.
I had a call from Frankie Dettori Sunday evening after he picked up his 14-day ban in Germany. It means he is ruled out of the Harvest Festival, and of course it’s disappointing, but I said to Frankie on Sunday, with what’s happened with Jack, it doesn’t matter. A tragic accident like that can put things into perspective, and Frankie missing the Harvest Festival this year is only a small thing in life now. Fair play to him he has promised me that he will come and see us in Listowel in 2023 so we can all look forward to that.
Irish Champions weekend
It’s Ireland’s flagship race, the Irish Champions Stakes, and has been for a number of years. It looks like there’s plenty of depth this year and I think the last couple of years it’s been rated the top race in the world, so I’m looking forward to this year’s renewal. Luxembourg is going to be a fascinating participant, and the vibes coming out of Ballydoyle are very strong. Homeless Songs is looking to back up her Irish 1000 Guineas win in the Matron Stakes, and she will be a fascinating runner. It’s disappointing that Godolphin don’t have a hand in any of the races, but I’m sure Charlie Appleby has good reason as they are usually great supporters.